This Privacy Notice is issued by Women’s Aid (Registered Charity Number 20012045) of 5 Wilton Place, Dublin 2 (“Women’s Aid”, “we”, “our”).
Women’s Aid is the leading national organisation that has been working in Ireland to stop domestic violence against women and children since 1974. We work to make women and children safe from domestic violence by offering support to women and their families and friends. During the course of our work, we are required to collect and process personal information from many stakeholders, including our service users, our donors and training attendees. At Women’s Aid, we are committed to ensuring that personal data collected and processed is treated lawfully and correctly and complies with data protection law, including the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and the Data Protection Act 2018. The controller (as defined in the GDPR) of your personal data, for all purposes outlined in this Privacy Notice, is Women’s Aid. Information provided by you is held in strict confidence.
Women’s Aid is not responsible for the content or privacy practices of any linked sites.
The information we collect and how we process your data will depend on your relationship with Women’s Aid.
Our Helpline Support workers are here to listen, and you can contact them by phone or online. If you would like to talk through some options, they will do that and may also refer you to local domestic violence support services or women’s refuge. Depending on your needs, the Helpline Support Team will provide a range of information on finance, housing, children, court orders and social welfare.
If your first language is not English and you would like to speak to us in your native language, we have a Telephone Interpretation Service available in over 170 languages. This service is free and completely confidential.
We would like to reassure you that it is your choice if you wish to disclose information regarding the reason for your call or text.
Women’s Aid National Freephone Helpline does not record or retain personal identifiable information.
What information you may wish to disclose during the call:
This online service is free, confidential, and secure. There may be times when you do not have the privacy to phone our National Freephone Helpline or you may simply prefer to contact us online. This facility is currently available during specific days and times and provides you with an opportunity to contact Helpline Support Team online and instantaneously during this operation period.
We do not ask you for any personal identifiable information and would ask that you do not provide any information via the instant messaging service.
We will ask your age. If you are under 18 years, our Helpline Support Team will refer you to more suitable services that support minors.
What information you may wish to disclose during the IMSS conversation:
Our Helpline Support Team will reply to your text message on the mobile number you sent the text from.
We do not ask you for any personal identifiable information and would ask that you do not provide any information via the text service.
We will ask your age. If you are under 18 years, our Helpline Support Team will refer you to more suitable services that support minors.
What information you may wish to discuss in the text message:
The Power to Change Programme is a twelve-week programme to help empower survivors of domestic abuse in many ways, including; to help develop personal boundaries and assertiveness skills; to value their self-worth and recognise their own potential; and also to raise awareness of women’s basic rights.
If you participate in the Power to Change Programme, we will collect and process the following personal data relating to you:
Your personal details will be used for details of your attendance.
Personal details provided by you through our application form process will be stored securely and confidentially, and will be shredded 12 months on completion of the course.
The Women’s Aid National Freephone Helpline may process personal data relating to you in order to provide you with a listening ear, emotional support and practical information about domestic abuse services available. The Helpline Support Team may contact a third-party service, on your behalf and with your permission, for example, refuge accommodation, domestic violence support service/court accompaniment, An Gardaí Síochána, or Tusla.
Your experience helps to inform our communication and policy campaigns so that we can increase awareness of domestic abuse and advocate for improved support and services for victims.
The National Freephone Helpline does not record your data. However, we do log information for the purpose of collecting statistical information, for example; your relationship with the abuser (current or previous partner, husband, separated), the type of abuse you suffered (physical, sexual, financial, emotional), whether children reside in your household.
Women’s Aid National Helpline does not record personal data. We do however, log information for the purposes of compiling statistical reports. This data is retained for six months.
If you are attending the Power to Change Programme, we will retain your personal data for a period of 12 months from the conclusion date of the course.
If you avail of our One to One Support Services (Outreach and Court Accompaniment) and High Risk Support Project, our staff will review the ‘Information and Confidentiality Notice’ with you during your initial meeting and prior to collecting any personal data relating to you. Due to the nature of this service and the level of distress some women may be in on contact with this service, it may be difficult to provide this information to every woman. Therefore, we encourage you to read our ‘Information and Confidentiality Notice’ here.
If you avail of our One to One Support Services (Outreach and Court Accompaniment) and High Risk Support Project, we will collect information about you and your family, including:
If you access our Support and Referral Service (“SRS”) and you decide not to avail of our One to One Support Services, we will not collect any personal data relating to you unless we have child safeguarding concerns and are required to make a referral to Tusla, or where we make a referral to another domestic abuse support service on your behalf or to Women’s Aid Legal Clinic or to Women’s Aid Emergency and Legal Fund or where we advocate on your behalf. However, we do endeavour to inform you of the following verbally at the start of any meeting:
Due to the nature of this service and the level of distress some women may be in on contact with this service, it may be difficult to provide this information to every woman. Therefore, we provide a link to the Information and Confidentiality Notice here. The SRS Information and Confidentiality Notice is also laminated on the walls of the waiting area and office of the SRS.
The Women’s Aid Legal Clinic is a voluntary and confidential service, staffed by volunteer lawyers whose services are provided free of charge.
If you agree to be referred to our Legal Clinic, you will be asked to complete a referral form with your support worker that asks the following:
This information with your first name only is then passed on with your permission to the law firm that we partner with on this project for the sole purposes of your use of the Law Clinic Services.
Where we refer you to our Emergency and Legal Fund we will collect your personal data so that we can administer a grant from the fund. The following personal details will be recorded and issued to our Finance Department so that funds can processed:
You will be asked to provide your explicit consent to the collection and processing of your personal information prior to funds being made available. Due to the nature of our crisis work, this consent is obtained verbally.
We collect information about you in order to support you and your family to stay safe.
We use the information you provide us with to inform Women’s Aid on how our services might be improved or developed.
Your experience helps to inform our communications and policy campaigns so that we can increase awareness of domestic abuse and advocate for improved support and services for victims.
Anonymised information is shared with funders of our service.
Woman’s Aid Services Department will hold your data for a period of three years. If after that period of time, you are not in contact with our Services Department, we will delete your records. All child protection files that have been inactive after three years are also deleted.
If you make a financial donation to Women’s Aid, we will collect and process the following information:
Your data is collected in one of the following ways:
The Communications and Fundraising Department will process your personal data for the following reasons:
When you are making a financial donation to Women’s Aid, your personal contact details are entered into our fundraising database. Our Communications and Fundraising Department may be in contact with you from time to time to:
If any time you would like Women’s Aid to cease communication with you, this option is available on our website or you can contact the Communications and Fundraising Department on email@example.com
We will not hold your personal data for longer than is necessary. We retain your personal data for as long as we need it for the purposes described in this Notice, or to comply with our obligations under applicable law and Revenue purposes.
If you participate in a Women’s Aid training course, you will be asked to complete an application form which will collect the following information:
Data may be collected in one of the following ways:
Your personal details will be registered on a list of training attendees for the course. This will include your name, organisation and job title. This list is used to confirm attendance for the training course.
Upon completion of the course, Women’s Aid will issue a certificate listing the course attended, your name and the course date.
Women’s Aid will also use your information to inform you of upcoming training events.
The Training Administrator files a hard copy of the training application form in our files. These are maintained for a period of 3 years from the date of the training course.
Technical details in connection with visits to this website are logged for our statistical purposes. When you visit our website, the following information is retained about that visit:
Women's Aid will make no attempt to identify individual visitors, or to associate the technical details listed above with any individual. This information is used to allow us improve the information we are supplying to our users, find out how many people are visiting our sites and for statistical purposes. Some of the above information is used to create summary statistics which allow us to assess the number of visitors to the different sections of our site, discover what information is most and least used, inform us on future design and layout specifications, and help us make our site more user friendly.
The legal bases on which Women’s Aid process your personal data may include one or more of the following legal grounds:
When availing of our ‘face-to-face’ Services, we will rely on your consent to the collection and processing of your personal data. Due to the crisis nature of our work, it may not be possible for Women’s Aid to obtain consent in certain situations and as such, we may rely on one of the other legal bases, outlined below, for processing your personal data.
You can withdraw your consent at any time (see ‘Exercising your Data Protection Rights’ below).
To carry out a task that is in the public interest
In our work for justice and social change relating to domestic violence, Women’s Aid are required to report on the service provision to various state organisations and public authorities. We consider the provision of information to these organisations is in the public interest. To comply with reporting requirements, Women’s Aid process data about clients and service provision; this data is completely anonymised, pseudonyms are used and identifying details are removed or changed to safeguard our service users. Where case studies are discussed, pseudonyms are used.
To Protect the Vital Interests of the Individual
In emergency life or death situations, we may process personal data in order to protect the vital interests of an individual. In a crisis situation, where there is risk of harm, Women’s Aid may be required to share information to prevent such harm.
For Women’s Aid’s legitimate Interests
We may process personal data for the purpose of our legitimate interests in providing our services in a responsible and effective manner and pursuing our social responsibility objectives. We will not process your personal data for these purposes if to do so would constitute unwarranted interference with your own interests, rights and freedoms.
For compliance with a legal obligation to which Women’s Aid is subject
Under the Children First Act 2015, Women’s Aid is required to report instances of child abuse and neglect. For more information, please see ‘Sharing Your Information With Third Parties’ below.
Depending on the service that we are providing, Women’s Aid may collect Special Categories of personal data relating to you such as your racial or ethnic origin, nationality and data relating to your health.
The legal bases on which we process special categories of personal data relating to you are that:
Special Category Data may be processed for statistical purposes on the condition it meets conditions set out to safeguard the identification of the Data Subject in addition to adhering to the principle of data minimisation. Women’s Aid ensure that all personal and special categories of data are anonymised for reporting purposes.
To deliver an effective level of service, it is necessary for the organisation to record information deemed relevant to the Woman’s circumstances. We do not record personal information about women or third parties that is not deemed relevant, for example, data relating to criminal convictions such as shoplifting. An exception, however, is where there are implications for safety of women or staff and where this is the case, we may process personal data relating to criminal convictions and offences in accordance with section 55(1)(b) of the Data Protection Act.
To protect the security of all personal data, Women’s Aid have appropriate technical and organisational security measures in place. These include:
Generally, the information you share with us about yourself, your family and others and your situation will be treated as confidential by Women’s Aid. This means that only Women’s Aid staff will have access to this information unless you say otherwise.
Sometimes during our support work with you, you may request us to speak/ we may suggest that we speak, to other agencies outside of Women’s Aid on your behalf (for example the Court Services, An Garda Síochána, Local Housing Authority, the Department of Social Protection). You do not have to give your permission; you can say no.
Sometimes we are legally required to share information to keep you and your family safe. We do not need your permission to do this but we will always try to discuss this with you as soon as we can, unless it risks safety to do this. The agencies that we usually share information with, in these cases are An Garda Síochána, social services, or other emergency services.
Women’s Aid receives funding for our services. Women’s Aid has to give reports to our funders to show the number of people we work with and how we are working with them. This shows numbers of clients; it does not give any names. It is not possible to identify you from the numbers we give to our funders. This includes reports to the benefactors to our Emergency and Legal Fund.
We might make your and other women’s stories anonymous, use pseudonyms and remove/change any identifying information and share this with funders, other agencies and researchers outside the organisation.
We share information in this way to ensure that your or your family’s identity will never be released.
If you become a beneficiary of our Emergency and Legal Fund, then your personal data will be collected and provided to administrators of the fund to administer the fund including our finance department.
The National Helpline does not record or retain personal data except in the following limited circumstances:
Women’s Aid do not record AKA names, such as spouses, partners and cohabitees names, on a woman’s files.
Where there is a concern regarding child safety, the AKA’s name is required for Tusla Child First referrals.
Women’s Aid acknowledges the general rule that personal information must be provided to anyone in relation to whom Women’s Aid holds Personal Data. However, due to the sensitive nature of our work, safeguarding a public interest and safety concerns for women and children, Women’s Aid are legally protected under the provisions of Data Protection Act 2018, to restrict access to this data.
We may disclose your personal data to other organisations including third parties who we engage to provide services, such as outsourced service providers, payment processors, IT services providers, professional advisers and auditors.
In general Women’s Aid do not transfer Personal Data outside the EEA. However, if we are required to transfer your personal data outside of the EEA, including to a jurisdiction which is not recognised by the European Commission as providing for an equivalent level of protection for personal data as is provided for in the European Union, we will ensure that appropriate measures are in place to comply with our obligations under applicable law governing such transfers. These may include entering into a contract governing the transfer that contains the ‘standard contractual clauses’ approved for this purpose by the European Commission.
If you would like to receive further details of the measures that we have taken in this regard, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are not under a statutory or contractual obligation to provide us with any personal data. However, if you wish to avail of our services, to attend our training events or to donate to Women’s Aid, we will require certain personal details relating to you. If you do not provide us with the information required, we may not be in a position to assist you.
You have the following rights, in certain circumstances and subject to certain restrictions, in relation to your personal data:
For further detailed information about your data protection rights please visit the website https://www.dataprotection.ie/
If you wish to exercise any of the rights set out above, you can talk to your Support Worker.
Due to the nature of Personal Data held by the organisation and in keeping with our mission to safeguard women, Women’s Aid stipulate that data access requests are made in writing. If you wish to make a data access request you can contact Women’s Aid by emailing email@example.com or by post to Services Manager, 5 Wilton Place, Dublin 2.
You will be required to include the following details with your request to ensure Women’s Aid can accurately identify the appropriate records:
Due to the sensitive nature of our services and the importance of confidentiality, you will be required to verify your identity in person to access the information requested. The following verification documents are required and must be dated within the previous 3 months:
Upon receipt of your request, Women’s Aid will contact you to make an appointment for verification purposes within 2 to 3 weeks from the date your request was received. Within 30 calendar days from the date we verify your identity, Women’s Aid will provide you with the information requested. However, where requests are complex or numerous, Women’s Aid may extend the period of compliance by a further two months.
Data access requests are free of charge. However, we will charge a ‘reasonable fee’ when the request is manifestly unfounded or excessive, particularly if it is repetitive. We may also charge a reasonable fee to comply with requests for further copies of the same information. This fee is based on the administrative cost of providing the information.
If you are concerned with how your data is being collected, processed or stored or if your rights about your data are not adhered to by an organisation, you can contact the Data Protection Commission online or by post as follows:
Post: Data Protection Commission, 21 Fitzwilliam Square South, Dublin 2, D02 RD28, Ireland.
Women’s Aid may occasionally update our Privacy Notice. We encourage you to periodically review this Privacy Notice for the latest information on our privacy practices.
This is a general privacy notice for anyone who may be connected to a woman who uses our services.
In general, Women’s Aid only collects the personal data of women who access and use our services. We may retain information about other individuals from women availing of our services but in these cases we only retain the minimum amount of information necessary for the purposes of complying with a legal obligation that applies to us, for the purposes of defending litigation, or for our legitimate interests in providing services to our users. This information may include names, addresses, dates of birth, details about family circumstances and other information we may be legally obliged to collect, such as for any referral made to Tusla under child protection obligations. In general, however, this information is recorded anonymously. We may transfer personal data to regulatory authorities and law enforcement agencies. We only store this information for the length of time necessary to comply with our legal obligations or to defend legal claims.
Anyone whose personal data is collected and processed by Women’s Aid has the following rights: the right to access, rectification, objection, deletion, and portability. These rights are only available in certain circumstances and may not be available in some cases. Women’s Aid takes the confidentiality of its service users very seriously and does not generally discuss any individual case with third parties. Due to this confidentiality and the nature of Women’s Aid work of working with women experiencing abuse, it is Women's Aid policy, where we are entitled to do so under applicable law, not to grant data protection requests made by other individuals as a result of the possible risk to women who use our services.
If you proactively contact us regarding the recipient of our service, then we may inform the woman who avails of our service of this contact if it is in the interests of the woman to do so.
If you have any comments or queries please refer to our Feedback Policy available on our website.
If you are not happy with the way we have used your information or addressed your rights, you have the right to make a complaint to the Irish Data Protection Commission: https://www.dataprotection.ie/.